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II. Definitions of Academic Misconduct


Commission of any of the following acts shall constitute academic misconduct. This listing is not, however, exclusive of other acts that may reasonably be said to constitute academic misconduct. Clarification is provided for each definition with some examples of prohibited behaviors.


Cheating includes the intentional use of unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids or other devices or materials in any academic exercise, or attempts thereof.

Examples of cheating include, but are not limited to:

II. A. 1. Acquiring answers from any unauthorized source in completing any examination. For examinations, this includes looking at another student's exam, taking answers from another student’s exam paper, use of textbook/study sheet/calculator during an exam for which those materials are not allowed, working with another student on a project that is to be completed individually, copying solutions from an online source or solutions manual, getting answers from students who have previously taken the examination, or using external aids (e.g., books, notes, calculators, electronic devices, conversation with others) that have not been specifically designated as allowed by the instructor.

II. A. 2. Acquiring answers from any unauthorized source in completing any assigned work. For assigned work, unauthorized sources include, but are not limited to, working with another student on a project that is to be completed individually, copying solutions from an online source or solutions manual, using the services of commercial term paper companies, or purchasing answer sets to homework assignments. Students unsure as to whether a source is authorized should check with the instructor.

II. A. 3. Having another person conduct research or prepare work for you without advance authorization from the instructor.

II. A. 4. Collaborating with other students in the completion of assigned work unless specifically authorized by the course instructor. Students should assume that all assignments are to be completed individually unless the instructor indicates otherwise.


Plagiarism includes the copying of the language, structure, programming, computer code, ideas, and/or thoughts of another and passing off the same as one's own original work, or attempts thereof.

Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to:

II. B. 1. Using another person’s words verbatim without appropriate quotation marks and citation, as appropriate to the discipline.

II. B. 2. Paraphrasing the work of another without appropriate citation, as appropriate to the discipline.

II. B. 3. Using a thesaurus or similar reference in order to substitute words for the words used by a source and then passing off the results as one’s own work.

II. B. 4. Attempting to receive credit for work performed by another, including papers obtained in whole or in part from individuals or other sources.

II. B. 5. Failing to cite resources (print or electronic) if they are utilized in any way as source material in an academic exercise.

General information pertaining to plagiarism:

  • Faculty members are responsible for identifying any specific style/format requirement for the course. Examples include, but are not limited to, American Psychological Association (APA) style, Modern Languages Association (MLA) style, Chicago style, and Bluebook style.
  • Direct Quotations: Every direct quotation must be identified by quotation marks or appropriate indentation and must be properly acknowledged in the text by a citation or in a footnote or endnote.
  • Paraphrases: Prompt acknowledgment is required when material from another source is paraphrased or summarized, in whole or in part, in one's own words. To acknowledge a paraphrase properly, one might state "To paraphrase Locke's comment" and then conclude with a footnote, endnote, or another citation identifying the exact reference.
  • Borrowed Facts: Information gained from reading or research, which is not common knowledge, must be acknowledged.
  • Common Knowledge: Common knowledge includes generally known facts, such as the names of leaders of prominent nations, basic scientific laws, etc. Materials that add only to a general understanding of the subject may be acknowledged in the bibliography and need not be footnoted or endnoted.
  • Footnotes, Endnotes, and In-text Citations: One footnote, endnote, or in-text citation is usually enough to acknowledge indebtedness when a number of connected sentences are drawn from one source. When direct quotations are used, however, quotation marks must be inserted and acknowledgment made for each instance. Similarly, when a passage is paraphrased, acknowledgment is required.


Falsification includes the statement of any untruth, either verbally or in writing, with respect to any element of one's academic work, or attempts thereof.

Examples of falsification include, but are not limited to:

II. C. 1. The forgery of official signatures.

II. C. 2. Changing responses on an exam after the testing period has ended.

II. C. 3. Altering lab data so that the values measured appear to agree more closely with expected values.

II. C. 4. Altering documents affecting academic records, forging signatures of authorization or falsifying information on any official academic document, grade report, letter of permission, petition, add/drop/withdrawal form, ID card, or any other official document of Virginia Tech.


Fabrication includes making up data and results, and recording or reporting them, or submitting fabricated documents, or attempts thereof. 

Examples of fabrication include, but are not limited to:

II. D. 1. Inventing/ Making up or falsifying lab data.

II. D. 2. Creating false documents to excuse an absence.

II. D. 3. Modifying a transcript from another institution in an attempt to earn transfer credits for a class not completed satisfactorily.


Multiple submission involves the submission for credit—without authorization of the instructor receiving the work—of substantial portions of any work (including oral reports) previously submitted for credit at any academic institution, or attempts thereof.

Examples of multiple submission include, but are not limited to:

II. E. 1. Submitting the same paper for credit in more than one course in the same semester without the instructor's permission.

II. E. 2. Making revisions in a paper or report (including oral presentations) that has been submitted and graded in a previous semester and, without the instructor’s permission, submitting it for credit in another course.

II. E. 3. Representing group work produced in one course as one’s own work and using it in another course.

II. E. 4. Submitting in a course being repeated the same paper, work, or assignment produced during original enrollment in the course.


Complicity includes intentionally helping another to engage in an act of academic misconduct, or attempts thereof.

Examples of complicity include, but are not limited to:

II. F. 1. Allowing another student to copy from one’s own paper during an exam or assignment.

II. F. 2. Providing another student with course materials from a prior semester.

II. F. 3. Distributing, in any form (e.g., paper, photo, video, audio recording and so forth), quiz or examination/test questions or other substantive information about such an assignment without the instructor’s permission.

II. F. 4. Collaborating on academic work when such collaboration is not permitted.

II. F. 5. Taking a quiz or examination/test for another student.

II. F. 6. Signing another student’s name on an attendance sheet or academic assignment.

II. F. 7. Using another student’s identification number on an academic assignment.

II. F. 8. Willingly conspiring or agreeing with another student(s) to commit an act of academic dishonesty.

The violation of any University, College, Departmental, Program, or Faculty Rules relating to academic matters that may lead to an unfair academic advantage by the student violating the rule(s).